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  • Background to the Study

It is established facts that major sectors of the institutions within our society are already utilizing the capacity of information technology to improve life generally, the health, economic etc; the education institution is not left out in this trend of development. It is common knowledge that globalization brought about by information and communication technology (ICT) has reduced the whole World to a village without boundaries. ICT has been acknowledged as a powerful hub of development in the 21st century. The massive economic benefits real and potentials of ICT are not in doubt, especially in the industrialized economies where the revolution is rooted (Rayport and Jaworski, 2002). The 21st century, started with the awareness that the new revolution variously called information revolution and IT revolution has come to stay. Increasingly, it is also being realized that the revolution is presenting frightening challenges which must be frontally tackled in order to maximize both potential and real benefits emanating from it (Olatukun, 2009). The challenges are at personal, societal and global levels. For instance learning, understanding and operating within the action frame of a new vocabulary, if not an entirely new language, that is peculiarly associated with information and communication technology (ICT), is the bedrock of the IT revolution. The new ICT revolution has now broadened the horizon of the opportunities among nations, organization, institutions and individuals giving hopes to compete with their counterparts all over the world as observed by Collins (2002). It has been seen as an important vehicle to push individuals to bigger heights as the world moves further into the knowledge economy in this 21st century.

Technology was thought to serve a dual function: it was thought to provide the tools for the realization of learning-as-construction, as well as for the social process of meaning appropriation, and it was thought to offer novel opportunities for novel learning activities and ways of teaching, which, in turn, would require novel psychological insights (Salomon & Ben-Zvi, 2006). According to Cuban (2001), the expectations in the past were to make schools more efficient and productive, to transform teaching and learning into an engaging and active process connected to real life, and to prepare young people for future workplaces, but the modern expectations is one that encourages the learner to go all out for learning in the search for knowledge.

There can be no significant or sustainable transformation in societies and no significant reduction in poverty until adult learners receive the quality education they need to take their rightful place as equal partners in development (Bellamy, 2002). This statement underpins the importance of the adult education. Notable improvement have been made on adults access to education as a result of numerous intervention programmes of UNESCO, UNICEF, governmental and non-government organizations all over the world, particularly in Africa and Asia. This notwithstanding, access to and quality of education are still a challenge for many adult learners a in this part of the world due largely to societal orientation and attitudes.

On the Online Discussion for the Review of Beijing +10 moderated by UNESCO which focused on “Education and Training of Adults” Lifanda(2005:30) reported a consensus by participants that: “Current methods and practices of educating adults have not been fully successful in reducing the number of adults without education. The education system should strive to provide quality education for adults in today’s knowledge economy”. Adult education has been the one that Africa in general have been battling with in the dawn of modern civilization mostly as the influence of the West grew within the African society, the increasing need to remove the barriers that have relegated adults to the background of education is the reason for this study. Educating the adult learner implies empowering the him/her to develop and acquire knowledge to make independent decisions that shape his/her life, including access to wealth, participation in decision -making and control over distribution. ICT skills and knowledge has huge potential to achieve these goals as well as facilitate the realization of the Millennium Development Goals through increasing accessibility of education to the adult learner, increasing adults’ interest and motivation in science and technology, and access to the knowledge – based society. Olulube (2006:6), amongst others, believe that “Information and communication technology can accelerate, enrich, and deepen skills; motivate and engage learners in learning; helps to relate class experiences to work practices; helps to create economic viability for tomorrow’s workers; contributes to radical changes in school; strengthens teaching, and provides opportunities for connection between the institutions and the world. Information and Communication Technologies which include technologies that facilitate the capturing, processing, storage and transfer of information (Dholakia, Dholakia &Kshetri, 2003), has become very pivotal/crucial to personal improvement and national development.

There is a growing body of evidence even in African countries like Nigeria, of the benefits of ICT for adult’s empowerment, through increasing their access to health, nutrition, education and other human development opportunities. However, High illiteracy rates of adult learners and their lack of ICT training are two of the most serious barriers that prevent them from entering the information economy (Annan 2005: 13). As such, adult learners have been left disadvantaged in the utilization and harnessing of the gains of ICT in education.

It is in the light of the above discussion that this study seeks to examine the effects of ICT on the teaching and learning of adult learning in adult learning centres in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.

1.2. Statement of the problem

With the various summits all over the world, it is increasingly clear that development cannot be achieved where the needs and contribution of adult learners are downgraded, marginalized or completely ignored (Ruffai, 2004).The proposition of this statement is that for any country to succeed and develop, adult education should be a focus for policy formulation and implementation as far as democracy in concerned. Nigeria as a member nation of the United Nations agreed to the obligation for achieving the goal of education for all by the year 2000 but figures show that by 2008, the situation for the majority of the adult remains the same as there have not been any drastic measure or plan by the government to address this challenge. It is on this backdrop that the problem of this study is posed in this question form; what are the effects of ICT on the teaching and learning of adult learners in adult learning centres in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State?

1.3. Purpose of the Study

            The main purpose of this study is to examine the effects of ICT on the teaching and learning of adult learning in adult learning centres in Pankshin Local Government Area of Plateau State.

            Other specific objectives of the study are

  1. To determine the challenges of ICT on the adult education.
  2. To examine the effects of using ICT in teaching adult learners.
  3. To examine the effects of ICT on adult learners.

1.4. Research Questions

            The study is guided by the following research questions:

  1. What are the challenges of ICT in the adult education?
  2. What are the effects of using ICT in teaching adult learners?
  3. What are the effects of ICT on adult learners?

1.5. Significance of the Study

            The benefit of this study cannot be over emphasized. This is because the adult learner is not ready to be left behind. Therefore, the study will be beneficial to the government, curriculum planners, instructors, the adult learner and future researchers.

            To the government, the will understand the challenges confronting the adult learners in the use of ICT, therefore, they will take measures to tackle these challenges for effective learning of the adults.

            Curriculum planners will also benefit from this study as they will structure learning experiences in order to accommodate the use of ICT for teaching and learning to adult learners in adult learning centres.

To the instructors, they would come to understand the effects of ICT and its importance inteaching and learning in adult learning centres; therefore, they would give proper attention to the adult learners when using ICT. This will enable them understand better when they are taught.

The adult learners will benefit from this study as all the recommendations given at the end of the study, will be in their favour which will enhance their educational achievements.

The study when successfully completed will serve as reference materials to future researchers who will want to make further research in the field of ICT and the adult education.

1.6. Scope of the Study

            The study shall cover the effects of ICT on the teaching and learning in adult learning centres. The study shall be restricted to selected adult learning centres in PankshinLocal Government Area of Plateau State. However, it is very important to note that despite the fact study is restricted to the selected local government area, the findings can be applicable to other parts of the state at large.

1.7. Operational Definition of Terms

            The following are terms used in the course of the research:

ICT: Information and communications technology (ICT) is an extensional term for information technology (IT) that stresses the role of unified communications and the integration of telecommunications (telephone lines and wireless signals) and computers, as well as necessary enterprise software, middleware, storage and audiovisual systems, that enable users to access, store, transmit, and manipulate information.

Adult Education: is a practice in which adults engage in systematic and sustained self-educating activities in order to gain new forms of knowledge, skills, attitudes, or values.

Challenges: Difficult matters requiring solutions.

Effects: These are results of a phenomenon or aftermaths of something which could either be positive or negative.




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